Did you know the government and companies dedicate a whole week to host events focused on helping your business succeed? Take advantage of these FREE events and resources to get expert advice on marketing, social media, capital, and many other business topics.
National Small Business Week (NSBW) officially happens in a week in May (usually the first one). In 2020 it was originally planned to happen from May 3 to May 9, but because of the COVID-19 pandemic, it was postponed, many believed it was canceled altogether. Fortunately, it was not canceled, and now it will happen from September 22 to September 24 and will be a completely virtual event.
How can you make the best of this whole week?
First, simply attend any of the events and webinars offered during the National Small Business Week. To save you hours of research, follow these steps to find the events that will benefit you most:
- Visit the official National Small Business Week website to look for events you might be interested in.
- Go to Eventbrite and search for local events under the “Business” category.
- Call your local chamber of commerce or Small Business Development Center and ask if they’re hosting any events this week.
- Follow the #smallbusinessweek hashtag on social media to learn about NSBW events and promotions.
- Visit the National Small Business Week Twitter page to check the latest news about other successful small business owners.
5 Tips to Make the Best of National Small Business Week
Besides the numerous events, seminars, and educational opportunities, you can also take advantage of National Small Business Week to attract more customers and increase your sales. Need some ideas?
1. Say thank you to your customers
Your customers will feel valued when you tell them they’re the mainstay of your business. Prior to the NSBW event, personalize your appreciation with a thank-you video letting them know how much they mean to you.
Ask customers to comment on how your business products or services help them. After gathering the comments, prepare a handout to distribute during NSBW and future events. You can also celebrate your customers’ contributions to your success by mailing thank-you cards or sending a newsletter.
Make sure your appreciation campaign includes a free handout to include the benefits of your products and services, as well as an exclusive discount your customers can use during National Small Business Week.
2. Partner with another small business
Business collaboration is a great way to help each other succeed. By working together to promote each other’s products, you can reach a larger audience. The products and services of each business should complement each other.
For example during NSBW, a gourmet coffee shop owner can set up a stand at a juice and smoothie bar and vice versa. Or an athletic clothing store could partner with a gym or a bakery business with a cheese shop.
Each business offers a discount coupon for the other business’s product or service. These types of business relationships not only increase profits but build a customer network of products and services in your community.
3. Run a promotion during the week (or a different promotion each day of the week)
Build brand awareness by offering a discount on a different product or service each day during NSBW whether you sell patio furniture and air conditioners or provide a service like catering events or setting up marketing campaigns.
To keep customers returning, offer future discounts for Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, and other holidays. Ensure each promotional product you offer includes your logo to identify your brand in the marketplace. Additionally, you can schedule a customer appreciation promotion to honor loyal customers by giving them a generous 20% discount.
Another way to run a promotion is to set up a special landing page on your business’s website during NSBW. Provide a clear call to action so your customers know to order online or sign up to be notified about further promotions. For instance, a restaurant owner could introduce a new menu or ask customers to make a reservation and receive a free dessert.
4. Share the story of your challenges and success as a business owner
On social media through Snapchat, a blog post, or Instagram invite your customers to follow you. Employee testimonies are a good way to provide insights as to ways customers support your business beyond purchasing products.
Are there one or more customers you can highlight on social media who encouraged you to press through when you first started your business?
If so, spotlight their contributions by including a picture and description. Furthermore, by including before and after pictures of your business, i.e., your first day on the job flying solo and now with employees, you demonstrate your success. Provide your customers with an inside story of what fuels your passion to keep your business forging ahead.
5. Host an online event
Customers like contests and especially winning something. For example, a sports equipment retailer can ask customers to take a picture of them wearing a fishing vest, using field hockey equipment, or putting to use camping and hiking gear. The winner with the best photo gets a free gift or discounted service.
Likewise, National Small Business Week is the perfect time to host a free webinar event to educate customers. If you own a garden center, teach your viewing audience how to use herbicides safely, or design garden spaces. A professional mechanic can demonstrate the easiest way to change the oil in your vehicle or a baker could give step-by-step instructions on how to make a cheesecake.
After completing the webinar, viewers can sign up for a drawing to win a free prize when NSBW concludes.
NSBW is all about you!
By taking advantage of this week, you will not only learn new things but also gain and retain more customers. These seven days could end up being the most important ones for your business throughout the year. Happy National Small Business Week!